Later this month, community members will be able to cast their ballots on the Weedsport Central School District's proposed budget and a $7.6 million capital project.
The $20,423,622 proposal adopted by the district's school board will go before voters May 18. The plan includes a flat tax levy and a $128,298 spending increase, as detailed in a newsletter on the district's website.
The proposed budget would add student programming and resources, add staff members, expand summer learning opportunities for elementary students and bring funds for materials and supplies to the levels they were at before the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our goal was to maintain our staffing level with final staffing decisions dependent on district enrollment trends and student programming needs," Superintendent Shaun O'Connor said in the newsletter. "We managed this while being mindful that this has been a fiscally difficult year for many community members."
While retaining Weedsport's current staffing, the spending plan would also add a visual arts teacher, a custodial worker, and an elementary school spot that was vacant due to retirement, the district said.
This budget would also entail a new BOCES program to address students’ emotional needs, improved security for school facilities, classroom upgrades for kindergartners, equipment upgrades at the elementary school health office and "funding to update technology for all students," the newsletter added.
People will also be able to vote on a proposed approximate $7.6 million capital project meant to facilitate health and safety initiatives and improve the district's athletic facilities and auditorium.
The district previously said this undertaking wouldn't affect taxes until the 2023-24 school year, when taxes go up around $37 for a home assessed at $100,000. The newsletter said the initiative would include replacing parts of the roof at the Jr.-Sr. High School, above the original building, auditorium, music rooms, and the 2004 wing, adding that these portions of roof are nearing the end of their useful life and haven't been updated in two decades.
A new emergency generator would also put in, and Weedsport Elementary School lobby's flooring outside the John J. Topichak gymnasium would be replaced. A divider wall would be taken out of the gym and a drop-down curtain would get installed, along with putting in new wall pads.
The newsletter said this capital project would also modernize its performing arts program by putting in a digital sound system in the facility, including wireless microphones and a new ADA-compliant hearing assistance system. There would be lighting improvements, as well.
District officials also want to reconstruct the outdoor track and put in a multi-purpose turf field.
The outdoor track and field area is due for a total overhaul as a result of both natural and use-inflicted wear and tear over the last 20 years since it was originally installed. The newly installed turf field would allow for soccer, field hockey, and football practices and games to be played on the surface while also allowing baseball and softball teams to hold practices when their sports playing fields are too wet in early spring and/or during rainy periods," the newsletter said. "Given the track upgrade and the durability of the turf playing field, the district anticipates that the track and turf field would be used for nine months of the year – including as a classroom for the physical education classes that every student takes."
The initiative also includes handicapped-friendly walkways to both bleacher areas, bathroom facilities near the field for public use and expected bleacher and press box replacements.
In addition to the budget and the capital project, community members will be able to elect one person to a five-year seat on the Weedsport school board. Voting will be held noon to 9 p.m. at Weedsport Jr.-Sr. High School, 2821 East Brutus St.
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